Introducing: 798 Art Zone in Beijing

One of my favorite places to roam around and experience true in a very creativity, as well as interesting state has to be Beijing. But you cannot just go anywhere, because art is quite restricted in China. Luckily there is one island that blooms in the artistic minds and hearts of many Chinese, that is the most well known 798 Art Zone, or district as it is called. Everytime I go to Beijing, I make sure to visit and see what new innovations are taking over each new day.

I guess what gives the place very special ground, is the fact that it has become a kind of an oposing symbol or status within the country and it’s hard struct communistic policies. While still keeping control, it is obvious that the art pieces you see there are just screaming to be heard. Because without a doubt, so many Beijingers are equally wanting to come and be free in the way they express theselves. Naturally art is the best medium for this, and one that cannot be extinguished from the city.

This thriving artistic community, which is previously known as the “718 Joint Factory”, also has a very unique artistic style that has to be seen to be witnessed. The military had something else in mind when these structures were originally built, as it was part of the “Socialist Unification Plan” to create factories that would help uplift communism and the social society structure through labour. Still you can see some of the tall pipes that were used for a variety of production lines, some of which have now been taken up for artistic use as ovens for clay works and such.

A little far from downtown Beijing, you need to take a taxi beyond the Fourth Ring Road. In the direction of the airport, all drivers will know they way there and it’s not expensive at all. Don’t miss it!


One thought on “Introducing: 798 Art Zone in Beijing

  1. I first visited the 798 Area in 2003 when it was just starting and have followed it to today ( I have been living in Tianjin since 2009 and lived in Beijing all of 2008).
    There has been a complete commercial transformation of this place as far as art is concerned, similar to the one in NYC’s Greenwich Village during the 1960’s.
    Fresh & original unknown artists have now been replaced by promoted established artists, sophisticated investors, art dealers and a few wealthy collectors. Belgian, EU & Japanese investors now dominate the scene and the whole place is so commercialized that it has lost most of its potential for creativity and innovation.
    Where I keep seeing excellent and promising original work is by young students at Art schools across all of China. I get the feeling that their work is being perceived as alien and threatening to the Chinese art establishment and the Chinese public in general, and unintentionally suppressed. It is not so easy to find these small student exhibits because their much older art teachers dominate with their own exhibits, and whose work is either a dull modernized version of traditional & classic Chinese art, or more commonly, poor imitations of contemporary western style art.

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